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OFT pre-christmas warning is timely for consumers

16 October 2012

www.shopsafe.co.uk, the online shopping portal, has welcomed research which has shown more than a third of the UKís top online retailers could be breaking consumer laws.

The research, conducted by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), checked 156 popular websites and suggested that 62 may not be complying with consumer protection law.

The OFT has asked the retailers to change their websites before Christmas.

Simon Crisp, director at www.shopsafe.co.uk, said: "Some of the problems reported included unreasonable restrictions on refunds and compulsory charges added at the online checkout without prior warning.

"It is important, particularly in the build-up to Christmas, that consumers are able to shop online with confidence, and knowing that the Office of Fair Trading is keeping a watchful eye on retailers will help to inspire greater faith."

www.shopsafe.co.uk is one of the UKís leading online shopping portals, featuring more than 4,000 selected retailers, including Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, Nike and Next. Each has been vetted for safety and ease of use, before being listed, to give shoppers greater peace of mind.

Simon added: "We hugely welcome this research and it is vital that the High Street names lead by example, because these are the names consumers are most likely to trust. However, it is worth noting that the majority of problems encountered online relate to smaller, lesser known websites.

"It is heartening to know that the majority of websites checked by the OFT complied with the relevant online trading laws, because I am sure five or ten years ago this would not have been the case."

Further information on safer shopping is available from www.shopsafe.co.uk/shopping.asp.

ENDS

CONTACT: Paul White on 01325 363436

Notes to editors:

www.shopsafe.co.uk is a directory of safe and secure websites and a leader in online security. It provides consumers with access to a range of secure outlets to be able to purchase from. Retailers in its 4000-strong portfolio include Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, Nike and Next.

Consumers can search the website by category, item or by retailer and use discounts only available through www.shopsafe.co.uk

www.shopsafe.co.uk measures a retail outlets security, by ranking it with a number of stars. In the event a retailer listed on www.shopsafe.co.uk experiences issues with online fraud, shopsafe.co.uk can alter the security status of the website on its site or delete the link and association entirely.

ENDS